Monday, January 30, 2012

Phil Collins Hipster Ironism

Like everything in the suburbs (Brooklyn) these days, this was funny for a few seconds, but now is just trite.

Phil Collins Day.

I hate him as much as the next guy, but the bourgeois hipster ironic narcissism is far more vapid.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Brooks Blog Posse

Brooks Blog has a posse...

Hopefully the promised new blog will show up soon. And hopefully it will be more frequently devoted to DOOM and crankiness.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Joy Division, Disney-fied

Always hated both, so I don't give a crap. But I suspect some will be horrified by this.
I can feel your doom....

Saturday, January 21, 2012

New Van Halen

New Van Halen. Worse than Rod Stewart.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Worse than Billy Joel?

I have to admit it, this might be worse than Billy Joel. Someone please make it stop.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Progress at the APA?

From the Eastern APA:
The Eastern Division Executive Committee has reviewed the results of the fall 2011 survey on meeting dates. In light of these results, the Committee has decided to change the dates of future Eastern Division meetings to early January: specifically, the end of the first full week in January (counting Monday as the first day of the week). These new meeting dates will take effect in the 2015/16 academic year.

Rec Letters for the UK

We all know the story about how people in the US ought to read recommendation letters from people in the UK. The UK norms for recommendation letters tend towards understatement, and so US readers should not read UK recommendations as lukewarm.

But what would you suggest to someone in the US writing a recommendation letter for a UK audience? Should one adopt the UK norms (thereby making the recommendation letter more in line with the UK standard), or should one write as if one were writing for a US audience? Do UK readers of US recommendation letters expect the bloated praise, and so would read a more tempered letter as lukewarm? Please advise.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Wig Out!

This still sounds awesome to me.

(And Happy Birthday. Just sayin')

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Guarded Optimism

Professor Leiter reports that "the APA has appointed four different task forces made up of a lot of senior philosophers who are quite aware of the very real problems and who want to do something about them," and then claims to be "guardedly optimistic" about this development.

I'm pleased to see that the APA at least recognizes that it has several serious problems. I'm also pleased that there's an effort to do something about them. So maybe I'm guardedly optimistic as well. But I'd be a whole lot more optimistic if the APA had also had the insight to seek help from people working in other disciplines that have better-run (albeit not perfect) national organizations, such as APSA. "A lot of senior philosophers" may be able to tell where the shoes pinch, but maybe it's a good idea to look to those who have built a non-dysfunctional national organization when trying to solve the problems.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Dear APA

Dear APA,

The main programs at the conferences have been getting pretty weak. The JFP is a clunky artifact. The "placement service" is a useless complication. The smoker plays an inappropriate role in the hiring process. The interview room is a terrible place to conduct an interview. Your website sucks. You need to rethink the conference calendar and the internal structure of the organization as a whole. And so on.

Everything you do with respect to the job market - from advertising the openings to organizing the interviews - can be done better and more efficiently via online channels. Concentrate simply on organizing good conferences. Please remove yourself from the job market process altogether.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012


I was just getting my APA receipts organized. I'll submit them next week to my University, and in due course I'll get reimbursed for nearly every dollar I spent on the APA Eastern. But I have to say that the grand sum is pretty staggering, considering what one gets in return.

Unless one happens to live close enough to DC to not need to fly, the cost for most of getting to the conference and staying in the conference hotel has to be roughly $1000. How do graduate students and non-TT slave-wage earners who don't live on the East Coast afford it?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Old Man v. Dopey Boys

Early on the first day of the APA, I was in an elevator in the conference hotel that was headed down to the lobby. As the elevator came to a stop, an older man addressed two young guys in sport-coats; he gestured towards the right and asked "Is the philosophy conference that way?" It was clear the the man was asking whether the registration for the APA was off in the rightward direction. But here are the replies he got:

Guy in sport-coat #1: "Sounds like a category mistake."
Guy in sport-coat #2: "Uh... Philosophy is everywhere."

Old man in reply: "Good luck with the interviews, boys. You'll need it."

Old Man, 1; Dopey Boys, 0